3 Tips How to Quit Making Excuses and Shoot More Street Photography

by Eric Kim on November 1, 2010

Every street photographer needs to take more photos. Street photographers (and many other types of photographers) don’t go out and shoot photos nearly as often as we should. In an ideal world, we should be outside every day, trying to capture the beauty of everyday life. Whenever photographers say, “I don’t have enough time” or “I’m too busy”–it is all just excuses. If there is something we care about enough, we will make excuses to go out and take photos. To help you get out on the streets more and shooting, I will outline some quick and practical tips that could help you be more on the streets and shooting photos.

1. Carry your camera with you everywhere you go

1x1.trans 3 Tips How to Quit Making Excuses and Shoot More Street Photography

The master, Henri Cartier-Bresson with his camera always close to his eye. You know he never made any excuses not having his camera with him.

No, this is not a figure of speech–I mean it. Keep your camera on-hand no matter where you are. Whether you are going out to lunch, to meet up a friend, or even when you are grocery shopping. There are photo opportunities everywhere out there, and if you don’t have your camera by your side, how do you expect to capture those moments? I’m sure we have all experienced it before–witness a “Kodak moment” and facepalm ourselves in realizing we didn’t have our cameras with us. So do yourself a favor and keep your camera close by you at all times. Alright, you don’t need it with you when you are going to sleep–but you get the drift. But my camera is too heavy and annoying to carry! Well suck it up. I highly recommend getting a messenger bag, as it makes it easy carrying it with you at all times. Don’t like your DSLR? Well get a Micro 4/3rds camera like an Olympus EP-1 or Pansonic GF-1 or pick up a nice compact like a Ricoh GRIII or the Canon S95. I personally carry around my Canon 5D (which is a pain in the ass sometimes), but I never regret it when I get the photos I want.

2. Create a shooting schedule

1x1.trans 3 Tips How to Quit Making Excuses and Shoot More Street Photography

"Fear of Time" - Yanick Yanidel

As humans, we are creatures of habit. Therefore when it comes to shooting on the streets, make a plan and stick with it. I try to shoot at least once a day during my lunch breaks at my job in Santa Monica (that’s why you have been seeing a ton of my photos on my site from the 3rd street promenade). If you “don’t have enough time” during the day, make some time. If you truly don’t have any time during the weekdays, promise yourself to go shooting on the weekends to places you may have not been to before. Nobody said being a street photographer was easy. If you really love street photography and want to capture amazing images, you will make the time for it.

3. Be accountable online

1x1.trans 3 Tips How to Quit Making Excuses and Shoot More Street Photography

"Punk Genius" - Eric Kim. Facebook is not as evil as everyone says it is.

Ahhh, the beautiful power of social media and the internet. With tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr–we are always connected with one another. If you are an active street photographer, more than likely you will also have a network online. So why not leverage this to your benefit and be accountable for your photography? If you have a lot of fellow street photographer friends, you don’t want them to go on dry spells and have them ask you why you haven’t been shooting. Try to update your work online as often as you can, to “stay in the loop” with your fellow street photographer friends. However this doesn’t mean to simply upload to appease your crowd, but to truly upload great images.

What are some ways that you stay motivated to shoot in the streets? Leave a comment below and drop some knowledge with the rest of the street photography community!

Also don’t forget to show some love and “Like” me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, and add me on Flickr!

  • Jennifer

    Good tips Erik, but I completely fail on following them…this morning I regretted not having my camera with me. I make those excuses you hate: My cam is too heavy! What for am I taking the dslr to University?

    Anyway, I really like following your blog :)

    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      Hey Jennifer,

      Glad to have you on the blog! You definitely gotta bring your camera with you! The best way to get those Kodak moments :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/JuergenBuerginPhoto Juergen Buergin

    Aaaah, again great article… HAving a schedule is not tooo mich my point, but the other two are extremely important. And how this motivates me when I’m reading the daily compliments to my photos on my Faceboo page ;-) If you ask me I would: Go to new places as often as possible. You know the town where you’re living? No you don’t, there are lots of places where you haven’t been now. Some may be really surprising photogenic. Visit as many cities as possible…. And visit some events that you would not visit without your wish to take street photos… Demonstrations… Sports events… Concerts…. And so on… There are always a lot of interesting situations that will keep motivating you!

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